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Destiney Patton Honored as 2023 AFP Outstanding Young Professional

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Destiney Patton

Natalie Paskoski, Manager of Content, (434) 236 – 5583,

(Arlington, Virginia) Destiney Patton, CFRE, manager, donor relationships at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, has been recognized as one of two Outstanding Young Professionals by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

The award recognizes fundraisers under the age of 31 who display excellence in raising funds, inspiring donors, and managing campaigns, while demonstrating dedication to the charitable sector. 

“It is an honor to be recognized on a global level for the contributions I have made in my community the past seven years as a fundraising professional,” said Patton. “I can’t thank my AFP Nashville Chapter and my organization enough for believing in me, developing me into the fundraiser I am today, and giving me the opportunity to pass on what I have learned to others. Receiving this incredible award is confirmation that I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I was called to do.”

Patton has spent the duration of her career at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, where she manages a portfolio of mid-level and major donors. During her tenure, she has secured over $5.3 million for the food bank, from her donor portfolio alone, not including the thousands of mid-level and monthly donors outside of her portfolio that she has impacted through her work with other organizational programs. 

Throughout her time at Second Harvest, Patton has used innovative tactics to inspire donor growth, nearly doubling donors and revenue in the organization’s Monthly Giving Program and growing the Mid-Level Giving Program from 395 donors to over 2,000. 

“On behalf of everyone at AFP, I want to offer my congratulations to Destiney Patton, one of our amazing Outstanding Young Professionals this year,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “Her commitment to her organization’s mission is clear through the long-lasting relationships she has built with her donors, and the work ethic displayed by her continued improvement of all programs she has participated in. We look forward to showcasing her impact at AFP ICON in New Orleans.”

Patton is an active member of AFP global, and her local Nashville Chapter, where she has served as membership chair, and now as Chapter President. 

In 2021, Patton earned her CFRE, and has since been an advocate for the certification within Second Harvest, encouraging coworkers and fellow AFP members to follow in her footsteps. 

Destiney’s commitment to nonprofit work extends far beyond her job responsibilities at Second Harvest. She has also taken on volunteer leadership roles at Girls on the Run of Middle Tennessee, where she has grown net revenue 880%. 

The award will be presented in New Orleans on April 16 during AFP ICON 2023, the largest gathering of fundraising professionals in the world.  For more information about Destiney Patton and AFP ICON, please contact Natalie Paskoski at (434)-236-5583 or  

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Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising. The association works to advance effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 27,000 members in over 240 chapters raise over $100 billion annually for a wide variety of charitable organizations and causes across the globe. For more information, go to

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